On election day, I came home to an excited five-year old son who triumphantly declared:
"Dad, I voted in school today. I voted for Obama."
This one little statement was all it took to destroy the fragile remnants of my heart that my shrewd conservatism had not yet consumed. Question after accusatory question raced through my head. Had I not worn my "Reagan is my Homeboy" T-shirt enough? Does this mean they will revoke my NRA membership? Is this because I failed to get him the Ann Coulter doll for his birthday?
"Why?" I blurted out, desperate to know the source of his deception.
"I don't know."
Frankly, I can't think of three better words to describe this entire electoral process: I don't know.
In a country 300 million strong, why did we choose from among us Obama and McCain?
Why would the Republican Party nominate a man who once considered being John Kerry's running mate?
How could a man with no executive experience, a racist preacher and past associations with domestic terrorists and slumlords be elected president?
How does Nancy Pelosi cram that much Botox into her face with our springing a leak?
And finally, how could the transcendent moment where America's first black president takes the oath be so, well, underwhelming?
I just don't know.
First, nobody wants Obama to succeed more than I do. If he does well, the entire country does well. While I may have voted for the other guy -Oldy McFarty I think his name was- I have no qualms accepting the will of the people and embracing Obama as our President. There is even a part of me that is little bit excited.
I have no doubt the inauguration was supposed to stoke my optimistic fire, but instead it doused it beneath a large pile of blah.
And because I can't really think of a good segue into the rest of my essay, here are some unsolicited thoughts on the inauguration.
Reverand Warren, next time you give the most watched inaugural invocation in history, I suggest you prepare a little bit ahead of time. "It all exists for your glory. History is your story." Congratulations. It rhymes. What else ya' got?
Am I the only one who can't get over how Reverend Warren pronounced Sasha? He didn't just state it, he exclaimed it. Like Eddy Murphy saying "Showtime!" SSSSSSSASHA! Her name sounds even cooler if you throw out your jazz hands when you say it.
I loved how, after taking the oath of office, Vice President Biden referred to the Supreme Court Justice as Mr. Justice. He must be the husband of my favorite Miami Police detective-turned-lawyer, Senorita Justice! Now that is a dynamic duo.
It was nice to see Utah Senator Bob Bennett get a chance to speak at the inauguration. I think we can all agree it is the first and last time anyone from the state of Utah will have anything to do with the Obama administration.
Through out his campaign, President Obama claimed that he was going to fix America's problems. Yet several times during his speech, he stated how it is our responsibility to help fix things. That's right, he is president for less than five minutes and he is already passing the buck.
I do not contest Aretha Franklin's place as the queen of soul. So for her sake I will blame her horrible rendition of My Country tis of Thee on the frigid Washington DC air. It sounded like Fantasia strangling a cat.
Is Yo Yo Ma short for Yo Yo Mother?
Anyone who thinks American literature is not in a state of decline need only hear one stanza of the pseudo-poem offered during the inauguration.
"A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin."
Seriously? That's what passes for poetry these days? Compare that to Robert Frost's Poem prepared for JFK's inauguration.
There is a call to life a little sterner,
And braver for the earner, learner, yearner.
Less criticism of the field and court
And more preoccupation with the sport.
It makes the prophet in us all presage
The glory of a next Augustan age
Of a power leading from its strength and pride,
Of young amibition eager to be tried,
Firm in our free beliefs without dismay,
In any game the nations want to play.
A golden age of poetry and power
Of which this noonday's the beginning hour.
At the current rate of literary decline, I have no doubt that the next inaugural poem will simply be texted to all those in attendance and will read something like this:
2 R Nu Pres, who is so gr8
Lets make a bttr st8
Don't LOL, can't U See!
U make me say OMG
I must say, I was quite impressed by Obama's speech. In fact, I liked it even more than the first time President Bush gave it.
I am glad to see that Obama is taking seriously the idea of having an inclusive government. How else can you explain the crazy, racist uncle he invited to give the closing prayer. Redman get ahead man? Yellow will be mellow? White will embrace what is right? You could hear the crowd laughing uncomfortably and hoping he would just shut up, the same way you do when grandpa starts going on and on about Ay-rabs at Thanksgiving dinner.
Well, it is story time with the kids so I need to conclude my inaugural musings. Now where did I leave my copy of Rush Limbaugh's greatest monologues?